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Zoning Variances and Complete Rezoning

At Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, our real estate attorneys are thoroughly familiar with the local zoning variance and rezoning procedures and are well-prepared to assist clients with variance and rezoning issues in the Athens area and throughout Northeast Georgia.

A zoning variance is an exception to the literal requirements of a county or municipal zoning ordinance. Zoning variances typically involve the need to deviate from the general permitted use set forth in the zoning ordinance or to deviate from the specific requirements within the zoning designation, such as setback or building height requirements. A complete rezoning, on the other hand, involves the changing of the actual zoning designation to permit a certain use.

The attainment of a zoning variance or a complete rezoning is often necessary to implement a desired use of real property, and a change in zoning can result in an increase in the value of the property in both the short and long term. Our real estate attorneys have experience in dealing with the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law, which sets forth basic requirements and processes for the legislative body to pass valid zoning ordinances.

Variances and rezonings can each present a unique challenge. Pursuit of a zoning change may meet opposition from zoning officials, neighbors, the local community, or a combination of these interested groups. Handling zoning variances and rezoning requests generally requires an in-depth understanding of the existing zoning ordinances and the conditions that must be satisfied in order to accomplish the desired results. The process for accomplishing a variance or a rezoning, while varying among counties and municipalities, typically involves an application or proposal, plan review and revision, and meetings and hearings with local zoning officials and community representatives.

If you are seeking experienced legal representation for land use and zoning matter, please contact us online or by telephone at 706-548-1151 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.